Companies encourage feedback, because it is a strategic tool to achieve excellence and improve sales and reputation. To collect feedback, companies use more and more resources and channels: in person, by phone, forums, chat/chatbot, messaging apps, web forms, email, social networks…
All the channels used to collect feedback should serve to:
- Listen: to pay attention to the queries, suggestions, opinions and complaints of customers.
- To respond quickly: a fast response is fundamental for the success of customer service because customers do not want to endure long waits.
- Offer solutions: all the above is not much use if, in the end, companies do not have the capacity to respond, therefore, the whole organisation needs to be involved in the protocols of customer service.
- Make the company more human: the people in charge of managing customer service channels should be well-trained and capable of managing the tools they use. They are the visible face of the company for the customer and should have skills such as diligence, common sense and communication skills to make the company more human to its customers.
Problems with feedback for companies
Within companies, requesting, collecting and dealing with customer feedback can be problematic for many reasons:
- Usually the problem is lack of resources. They do not deal with feedback received, nor encourage collecting it because there are not the human and financial resources available in the company to do so.
- Often companies watch helplessly as their customer service channels become a vehicle for the publication of unfair complaints from customers that damage their reputation and ruin the human and economic effort of the company.
- Other times, a large amount of money is invested but there is a lack of internal control to centralise and analyse the information received through customer feedback in order to turn it into opportunities for improvement and increase sales for the company.
Problems with feedback for costumers
For consumers, feedback to companies may appear unnecessary because they think that their opinion will be irrelevant, they have neither the time nor the motivation to do it, they feel uneasy complaining, or they do not know how to do it.
So, typically, if the customer takes the initiative and gives feedback, it is to complain. Most of these complaints are not resolved because of:
- the lack of accessibility to the customer service channels on the part of the company: the customer service channel cannot be found, and when it is found, it does not work correctly; the telephone is not answered within a reasonable time or it turns into a nightmare of call forwarding and filters on the switchboard; mails go unanswered; and the chat is not operative.
- the lack of solutions in the customer service channels on the part of the company: when the customer manages to get through to someone and, unfortunately, does not receive empathy or solutions from the company’s customer service channel, they feel frustrated and helpless.
These problems explain why a customer decides to complain in public, make an official complaint or loses trust in the company.